In the last week we’ve posted a variety of stories concerning Season Passes, either ones that have been confirmed for upcoming games, like Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 or Forza Horizon, or ones that are now coming into effect, like the one for Borderlands 2.
Season Passes are a pretty new strategy in the gaming industry as they’ve only been around for a year or so and are quickly becoming more and more popular.
In case you’re not aware of them, they represent access to all of the DLC that’s going to be released for a game, and can be purchased for a smaller amount of money than the actual add-ons separately.
In theory, the passes represent a great deal both for developers and publishers, as they receive money early which can immediately be invested in the DLC, and for gamers themselves, which rest assured that they’ll receive the add-ons for a lower price.
In practice, however, a lot of risk is involved with selling and buying a Season Pass.
First up, for developers, the existence of such a thing practically forces them to create the content they promise to customers. Creating a game, even an expansion for it, can be a tricky thing that doesn’t always end up like planned.
Max Payne 3 is a great example, as Rockstar sold a special Pass and posted a release schedule for the DLC included in it. Sadly, it couldn’t stick to it and is now bundling together items in new add-ons like the Hostage Negotiation pack.
Secondly, for gamers, it represents an unknown risk, as you can't know for sure if the add-ons will be any good. You can end up with some impressive expansions, like Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate’s Booty
for Borderlands 2, or you can get some rather short ones, like the Genkibowl VII one for Saints Row 3, which was fun yet felt a bit tedious.
My current strategy is to wait for a few expansions to appear for a game and then decide if I’m going to get its Season Pass. What about you? Do you get the pass right alongside the game or are your more cautious?